San Diego will add a $10 million-plus roller coaster in 2012 that marks the U.S. debut of a highly anticipated prototype ride.
Paired with a 100,000-gallon aquarium and outdoor ray pool, the
will be in a relatively unused back corner of the marine park near the Skyride and Flamingo Cove, SeaWorld officials said.
The 30-foot-tall Manta will feature dual launch zones, a 54-foot drop into a subterranean trench and a dramatic wing dip into a shallow lake over a 2,800-foot-long track. Launched from a tunnel filled with manta ray projections, the inversion-less family coaster will reach a top speed of 43 mph and pull 4 Gs during the two-minute trip. SeaWorld is expected to break ground on the new coaster in the next month.
The electromagnetic-launched mega-coaster, which has
, will deliver a much-needed dose of thrills to a park habitually light on rides. I can't wait to take my first spin.
SeaWorld San Diego's Manta represents a significantly more compact version of the 125-foot-tall, 3,500-foot-long
coaster in Germany, which features heart rate monitors, video screens for each rider and lap bar-only restraints. The prototype Mack coaster be found only at the company-owned
, which serves as a proving ground for the manufacturer's newest rides.